After being slapped with a four-game suspension, Tom Brady is digging in his heels and he’s bringing serious firepower with him. Brady, as we learned earlier this week, will enlist the help of the NFLPA, despite his previously tenuous relationship with them. He’s also bringing Jeffrey Kessler, a man who has been termed as the “arch nemesis” of the NFL. Kessler ran point on Adrian Peterson‘s recent appeal and is also widely credited with helping to forge free agency in football after winning the Freeman McNeil case and settling the Reggie White case.
However, the deck seems to be pretty stacked against him. The 2011 CBA affords commissioner Roger Goodell the right to hear any appeal and, despite the very vocal protests from the union, he’ll be exercising that right. The statement released by the league office seemed to be pushing the notion that Goodell will be an unbiased arbiter, claiming that NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent was the one who determined the punishment with Goodell being the one to “authorize” it. It all seems pretty unfair. That is, if you can ever say life for a four-time Super Bowl winning quarterback who is married to one of the world’s most renowned supermodels is unfair.
The Patriots are still undecided as to whether they’ll fight the penalties handed down to them, but both Brady and Goodell are preparing for battle. The quarterback may be coming in with a Dream Team legal defense, but Goodell plans to interview indefinitely suspended Patriots employees John Jastremski and Jim McNally as witnesses for Brady’s appeal. Brady, meanwhile, is expected to file suit against the NFL to have Goodell replaced with a neutral arbitrator. It is certain that things will get ugly, but the outcome is anything but certain. When all is said and done, do you think Brady will be able to get his suspension slashed from four games?